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Lauren Schmitt

Lauren Schmitt Headshot .jpeg

Lauren Schmitt is the news director at KMUD - Redwood Community Radio, Humboldt County, California. She has been a volunteer programmer for the last decade and has served as news director for the last six years. 


KMUD broadcasts to the entire north coast of California, from Mendocino to Del Norte County, an area that has been plagued with wildfires, snowstorms, tsunamis, and earthquakes. 


Under her leadership, KMUD has continued its daily 30 minute newscasts, and has responded to each crisis with up to the minute live news updates, a top tier response that has been made possible due to years of planning and coordinating with local officials. In addition to always ensuring that there are bilingual emergency announcements in Spanish and English. 


Although people have many other information sources these days,  folks of the north coast still depend on KMUD to keep them entertained and informed" 

About this Presentation

Lauren Schmitt, the News Director at KMUD - Redwood Community Radio, will be highlighting the critical role community radio stations play in emergency preparedness and response. Her presentation has three key points:
1. Preparing for Emergencies:
    * The importance of creating an emergency response team within the radio station.
    * Proactive networking with officials and authorities to develop a multi-agency  emergency response plan and collaborations.
    * Identifying possible emergency scenarios and planning for on-air responses, including protocols for delivering up-to-the-minute news updates, and bilingual reports.
2. Sharing Historical Crisis Responses:
    * Real-life examples of KMUD’s coordinated efforts with local authorities ensured timely and accurate information dissemination during crises in Northern California: the August complex million-acre gigafire, a significant M6.4 earthquake, and a severe snowstorm that closed major highways and trapped motorists.
3. Community Commitment and Inclusivity:
    * The need to be dedicated to serving the entire broadcast community with a commitment to inclusivity, like providing bilingual emergency announcements in Spanish and English, recognizing the diverse population it serves, especially in areas susceptible to wildfires, snowstorms, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

Schmitt's presentation will showcase how grassroots radio stations like KMUD play a vital role in emergency preparedness and response. Through her leadership, KMUD has become a trusted source for up-to-the-minute news during crises, ensuring that residents of the North Coast can rely on the station to stay both entertained and informed during challenging times.

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